Proposal would allow debt collectors to email, send you text messages


WASHINGTON (NEWS10) – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering new rules on how debt collectors can contact consumers.

The bureau says the new rules will provide consumers with protections against harassment by debt collectors and new ways to dispute debts.

The proposal, which is open to public comment, includes the following:

  • Establish a clear rule limiting phone call attempts and telephone conversations. The proposal would generally limit debt collectors from contacting someone to no more than seven attempts by telephone per week. Once contact has been reached, the debt collector must wait a week before calling the consumer again.
  • Clarify consumer protection requirements for certain consumer-facing debt collection disclosures. The proposal would require debt collectors to send consumers a disclosure about the debt and related consumer protections.
  • Clarify how debt collectors can communicate with consumers. The rule would clarify how debt collectors can contact consumers through voicemails, emails, and text messages. The proposal would allow consumers to limit when debt collectors can contact them like hours they are at work or during a specific period of time. It would also allow consumers to unsubscribe from contact through these methods.
  • Prohibit lawsuits and threats on time-barred debts and require communication before credit reporting. The proposal would prevent a debt collector from suing or threatening to sue if the debt collector knows the statute of limitations has expired on the debt. It will also prevent debt collectors from reporting to a consumer reporting agency with first talking with a consumer.

You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CFPB-2019-0022 or RIN3170-AA41, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: Include Docket No. CFPB-2019-0022or RIN 3170-AA41 in the subject line of the email.
  • Mail: Comment Intake – Debt Collection, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection,1700 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20552.
  • Hand Delivery / Courier: Comment Intake – Debt Collection, Bureau of ConsumerFinancial Protection, 1700 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20552.

Instructions: The Bureau encourages the early submission of comments. All submissions should include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory InformationNumber (RIN) for this rulemaking

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